The Question behind the Question
Whether you are a supplier of a products or a supplier of services, it is of strategic importance for
every enterprise to know what is the question behind the question at the moment of order acceptation. Order acceptation is the start of the production process and will lead to a satisfied customer and preferable to repeat business.
In order to understand the concept, I have to dig in a bit deeper and explore the problem cycle.
What is a Problem:
A problem is a situation that is perceived to be unpleasant or undesirable and requires action in order to be resolved.
This means that a problem is a personal / group perception. Other persons in the same situation might not perceive the situation as problematic.
In case the solution is perceived to be complex and requires specific expertise, the problem owner will approach a consultant or an expert.
Every consultant or expert knows that there are more solutions for a given problem.
Problem dynamics in organizations:
a problem becomes a problem when a person or a group experiences a feeling of discomfort in a given situation and gets into action formulating a solution concept. This feeling of discomfort in organizations, can occur when the perception is that unchanged policies might have a negative impact These perceived risks can create the feeling of discomfort and trigger action. In case the problem is perceived to be complex outside help might be consulted. The problem owner or its representative presents will present the situation and the required solution to the consultant or expert.
Hang yourself strategy
Hang yourself is the strategy to accept the solution offered by the client/customer straight away.
the expert or consultant is experienced. Therefore the solution will be implemented
But what if the perceived risks of the client are not reduced? The perceived risks, that created the feeling of discomfort and lead to the solution concept originally. Than the discussion between client and consultant/expert might go as follows:
Client: Yes, it is implemented, but my problem is not solved
Consultant/expert: Yes, but this is what you have asked me to do.
Client: But you are the expert
The Key solution is two-fold:
The capability to build trust to qualify yourself as an expert/consultant and discuss the perceived risks that lead to the feeling of discomfort and second, the capability to qualify yourself to explore other possible solution concepts.
In Spring and Autumn, this strategic training “Question behind the Question” for senior consultants, senior accountmanagers, and experts is organized in English, and Dutch (De vraag achter de vraag).
An intake interview with the participants is scheduled for the beginning of September and the beginning of March prior to the training program